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Launching user-generated content Yes haha has raised $40 million in funding to launch a platform that makes it easier for content creators and non-technical people to create 3D animations and games.
Yahaha already has a community of over 100,000 developers and 200,000 registered users for its platform. It is actively creating studio partnerships, accelerator programs, global events, game jams and more.
The funding will allow Yahaha’s team to hire gaming industry talent, expanding its presence in the US and Asia Pacific. The company has dual headquarters in Helsinki and Shanghai.
Temasek and Alibaba led the round and included investments from 37 Interactive Entertainment. The raise will be used to further grow the Yahaha product, community, workforce and ecosystem. Since launching in early alpha in April 2022, Yahaha has seen creators join its platform on PC and macOS, with hundreds of thousands of players playing its UGC games on the mobile app.
Yahaha was founded in October 2020 by a talented group of Unity veterans Chris Zhu (CEO), Pengfei Zhang (COO) and Hao Min (CTO). The platform aims to democratize 3D content creation and help creatives of all skill levels create their own games, worlds and social spaces.
“Our vision is to try to democratize creativity so that anyone can build games,” said Zhu. “And the games we define here are not just simple or casual games. We believe these can be 3D real-time interactive multiplayer games and should be immediately playable.”
The company had three prior funding rounds and is now closing a major one. The company has already released a product and half of its users are developers.
Yahaha has no-code tools that make game creation as easy as drag-and-drop, as well as comprehensive, easy-to-use tutorials, the company said. Users can create Web2 mobile or PC games.
This new investment follows a previous Series A raise of $50 million, bringing the total funding secured by Yahaha over two years to nearly $100 million.
Yahaha will continue to support creators by offering them more tools and new functionalities, such as AI and cloud technology. Pathways for the introduction of monetization modules are currently underway, with more details to be announced soon.
Yahaha has more than 170 employees with offices in Helsinki, Seoul and Shanghai. Yahaha has plans to partner with brands to bring new IPs to its metaverse. It will announce new industry and studio partnerships. Current partners include 3D asset development content creators such as Synty Studios, CGTrader, and Dabeeo.
“We have seen fantastic growth in Yahaha throughout the early alpha phase, and with over 100,000 creators signed up to create content with us, we are building on a strong foundation,” said Chris Zhu, CEO of Yahaha, in a statement. declaration. “This funding round marks the next step we are taking with Yahaha, opening more monetization modules for creators. We also continue to pioneer by investing in key areas of the community and building relationships with brands that share our values, joining experts in game development, 3D asset creation and more. ”
Zhu hopes to double or triple the team. Considering that many people have been laid off, Zhu believes it is a good opportunity to hire some of those people and give them work.
Zhu added, “With Yahaha, we’re not just ushering in the next generation of entertainment, we’re supporting the next generation of creators and giving them the tools and integrated virtual world platform they need to create great content. There is a litany of possibilities waiting for us in the virtual world, and we want to lead the way with Yahaha. To do this, it is imperative that we continue to invest in our team and in the community that has brought us to where we are today.”
Unity’s own goal is to democratize game development with its accessible game engine. Zhu also believes that non-technical people can build games. And he believes that technical people can also unleash their own creativity. Yahaha’s teams try to code a lot behind the scenes to simplify the creation of games, animations and user-generated content.
“We build everything as components, like playing with Lego,” said Zhu. “But you still have to have some knowledge of games. Now we have Lego parts that everyone can play with.”
The team separates the gameplay components so people can snap things together as they create. Unlike Roblox, you don’t need to know how to code, Zhu said. Yahaha tries to appeal to adults and not just children.
“Also the graphics have high fidelity where you can make games that are for mobile and console,” said Zhu. “It’s much more like Unity and not Roblox. We want everyone on our platform. Indie developers can build anything they want with no restrictions on assets or graphics or multiplayer. We try to get everyone to build a 3D virtual space.”
The company enabled monetization on the platform by opening an asset marketplace where players can sell things they’ve created. Yahaha gets a 30% discount while the creators get 70%. In addition to its Web2 technology, the company is also working on Web3 technology. Zhu also hopes to move on to a metaverse platform.
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